Dolphins living off coast of Wales have developed own ‘Welsh accent’

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Dolphins swimming off the coast of Wales have been caught using a different pronunciation for pods that live in other parts of the world.

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The pods of dolphins living in Cardigan Bay were recorded using their own unique dialect, their whistles detected at a high frequency.

BBC Nature series expert Wonders of the Celtic Deep As part of the program, 240 dolphin pods were studied.


“The bottlenose dolphins are highly sociable, the groups are in constant communication,” said the show’s narrator, Dame Sean Phillips.

“Each dolphin has its own unique signature whistle and the Cardigan Bay dolphin may have its own dialect.

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“Their whistles occur at a higher frequency than those recorded anywhere else in the world.”

Researchers have previously discovered that dolphins in Cardigan Bay have different whistling sounds to other pods found around the UK.

In 2007, marine scientist Ronan Hickey from the University of Wales in Bangor and experts from the Shannon Dolphin Foundation in Ireland conducted a study on dolphins.

They digitized and analyzed 1,882 whistles from 120 Irish sea dolphins so that Welsh dolphins have their own pronunciation.

Speaking at the time, project leader Dr Simon Berrow said: “We are trying to associate whistle types with different forms of behavior – such as foraging, resting, socializing and communicating with our young.

“There was a distinctive and distinctive to the Dolphins of Cardigan Bay.

“We are really building a dictionary of a whole range of sounds. There are whistles, clicks, barks, groans and a gunshot sound they can use to stun their prey.”

This finding comes from other studies showing that the sound of cows in regional accents and that of birds in different parts of the country is different.


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